In the time of the Apostles of the Christ, there was a practice called The Prayer of the Heart, also known as The Jesus Prayer. In The Jesus Prayer, the words Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, (Lord have mercy on me, Christ have mercy on me) are spoken or sang with an awareness of the heart, while breathing consciously. In the book, The Way of a Pilgrim, written by an anonymous Russian mystic, this practice is discussed with great detail.
The earliest description we have of the Jesus Prayer is by a student and companion of the Apostle Paul, Abba Philemon, who died in 54 AD. In a sixth century book called The Life of Abba Philemon, the following instructions were given:
“With the help of your imagination find the place of the heart and stay there with attention. Lead the mind from the head into the heart and say, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me,” quietly with the lips or mentally, whichever is more convenient; say the prayer slowly and reverently. As much as possible guard the attention of your mind and do not allow any thoughts to enter in.”
Over the centuries, this Christian practice developed further with many saints stressing four basic requirements:
1. Concentration on the heart
2. Concentration on the breath
3. Sincere, devotional, emotion
4. Invocation of Jesus Christ
The first three of these are fundamental to what the Institute of HeartMath calls Coherence. They are also fundamental to the practice of Heart Rhythm Meditation, a simple and powerful Universal meditation taught by Susanna and Puran Bair, founders of The Institute for Applied Meditation on the Heart.
To me, this is a fundamental practice for anyone who is committed to following The Path of the Heart, for the greater your connection with the intelligence, wisdom and guidance of your heart, the closer you’ll be to fully activating your potential in all areas of your life.
Download The Prayer of the Heart Guided Meditation:
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The practice of Heart Rhythm Meditation helps you increase the neurological connections between your nervous, endocrine, respiratory and circulatory systems – literally uniting the heart, mind, and body to bring you into a state of radiant peace called Coherence.
Coherence is a fluid state of awareness; a state of inner calm in which you have your full attention on the here and now, and are able to flow with the rhythm of life, in the most relaxed and joyful way.
Some of the many benefits of practicing Heart Rhythm Meditation regularly include:
- You will sleep better.
- You will develop inner strength and courage.
- You will feel more connected to your feelings.
- You will feel more creativity in your life.
- You may become a more magnetic leader.
- You will find it easier to use your concentration and intuition